Roe v. Wade Overturned: What You Need to Know in Utah

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Roe v. Wade Overturned: What You Need to Know in Utah

Categories: News

YWCA Utah stands in solidarity with YWCA USA and YWCA’s across the country. We will continue to make our voice heard and support Utah organizations fighting for abortion rights and reproductive justice.

More Information on Utah’s Trigger Laws 

Please note, Utah law specifically uses the word woman in their statute and we acknowledge that this is not an inclusive representation of who is impacted by the Supreme Court decision.  

In 2019 and 2020, the Utah State Legislature passed trigger laws that would only go into effect if Roe v. Wade was overturned, ending federal protection of the right to abortion. The status of these laws is constantly changing given the nature of court proceedings. This information is up to date as of June 30, 2022. 

2019 Trigger Law – HB 136 Abortion Amendments (Rep. Acton/Sen. Henderson) 

What it does: It bans abortions after 18 weeks, only permits abortions to be performed by physicians in a hospital or abortion clinic, and imposes a second degree felony on physicians who violate the law. 

Exceptions: Abortion may be permitted: 

  • to avoid death or serious and irreversible bodily harm to the pregnant woman, or 
  • in the case of rape or incest only if the incident was reported to law enforcement and that report was verified by the physician who performs the abortion;   
  • at a location other than a hospital or abortion clinic due to a medical emergency. 

History: It had been blocked while the case was pending in court. On June 28, 2022, the injunction was lifted.  

Current status: The 2019 Trigger Law is in effect, as of June 30, 2022. 

2020 Trigger Law – SB 174 Abortion Prohibition Amendments (Sen. McKay, Rep. Lisonbee) 

What it does: It bans all abortions, only permits abortions to be performed by physicians in a hospital or abortion clinic, and imposes a second degree felony on physicians who violate the law. 

Exceptions: Abortion may be permitted: 

  • to avoid death or serious and irreversible bodily harm to the pregnant woman, or 
  • in the case of rape or incest only if the incident was reported to law enforcement and that report was verified by the physician who performs the abortion; 
  • at a location other than a hospital or abortion clinic due to a medical emergency. 

History: It went into effect on June 24, 2022 when Roe v. Wade was overturned, but was temporarily blocked by the court on June 27, 2022 when Planned Parenthood of Utah and ACLU of Utah filed a lawsuit. They plan to seek a permanent block while the case is pending. 

Current status: The 2020 Trigger Law is on hold, as of June 30, 2022.  

Looking Ahead: Legislative Action to Address Utah’s Abortion Laws 

Lawmakers are planning to make changes to Utah’s current abortion laws. Here is a preview of what we can expect to see in the 2023 General Legislative Session: 

  • Expanding List of Where to Report a Sexual Assault to Obtain an Abortion – Rep. Jen Dailey-Provost plans to re-introduce a bill that will expand the list of places a sexual assault can be reported, for the purposes of obtaining an abortion, to include crisis centers, domestic violence resource centers, and to physicians for purposes of obtaining an abortion. For current resources available, contact the Rape Recovery Center’s 24/7 Sexual Violence Help Line at 1-888-421-1100 or 801-924-0860. 
  • Removing Criminal Penalties for Physicians Who Provide Abortions – Rep. Angela Romero plans to introduce a bill that will remove criminal penalties for health care providers who perform abortions.  

HOW TO TAKE ACTION AND KEEP CURRENT IN UTAH 

We all deserve access to quality and affordable health care – including abortion care. Contact your Senator TODAY and urge them to support and immediately pass the Women’s Health Protection Act!  

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Originally posted on June 24, 2022, by YWCA USA here.

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), issued the anticipated ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This means that abortion is no longer Constitutionally protected in the United States, leaving this fundamental right at the mercy of state governments and creating a patchwork of jurisdictions where abortion care will be available. Read on to learn more about what this means, some of the ways this ruling will impact the communities YWCA serves, and for action steps you can take to continue to advocate for safe, legal abortion. 

WHAT HAPPENED

Abortion has or will soon become illegal in 26 states, including 13 states – known as “trigger” states – that already had laws on the books to ban abortion as soon as Roe v. Wade was overturned. Before this publication and Supreme Court decision, 16 states and the District of Columbia had passed laws to protect abortion.

YWCA FULLY SUPPORTS ACCESS TO ABORTION

YWCA has supported abortion as a fundamental right for the last 50 years. In fact, YWCA USA led a coalition of partner organizations in submitting an amicus brief to the Supreme Court commenting on this case and outlining our unwavering support for access to abortion care.

Make no mistake; this is a devastating moment for all communities.

But, here are three key reasons why this means so very much for our YWCA family and the people we serve:

  1. As the largest network of domestic violence service providers in the nation, we recognize the deep connection between sexual violence and abortion.
    • Abortion bans are unnecessarily triggering for survivors, who are already working to heal from attacks on bodily autonomy.
    • A number of states fail to provide for rape and incest exemptions – forcing disclosure and, deplorably, proof from survivors in order to gain a safe, legal abortion, further violating a birthing person’s power over their own body.
    • As our domestic and sexual violence service providers know all too well, there’s a wealth of research demonstrating the inextricable links between access to abortion and intimate partner violence.
    • Women of color, particularly Black women, will be disproportionately impacted, as they experience intimate partner violence at higher rates than their white counterparts.
  2. As a federation of organizations dedicated to the elimination of racism and discrimination, YWCA recognizes abortion bans and restrictions as direct assaults on women and birthing people of color, people with disabilities, people who are low-income or living in poverty, and the LGBTQ community.
    • Thanks to deeply embedded racist and sexist legacies in the U.S. health care and other systems, these groups are already navigating and suffering the consequences of discriminatory systems.
    • We are at crisis levels for Black and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) maternal deaths, which are three to four times higher than for their white counterparts. Banning abortion strips medical professionals and pregnant people – including those beyond 15 weeks – of making those decisions and will further exacerbate this crisis.
  3. As an organization that fights for economic and educational justice for women and girls – especially women and girls of color – we know that lack of access to abortion has long-term negative consequences, impacting everything from educational achievement to financial security.
    • In particular, for low-income people and those living in poverty, abortion bans are especially devasting. Access to workplace accommodations, like paid sick days and reliable scheduling are critical for those seeking abortion care. However, women of color disproportionately occupy jobs that offer neither, adding another layer of barriers for these groups.
    • Low-income people are more likely to rely on public transportation or to share a car with a spouse or other household members, making physical transportation a very real barrier to accessing abortion care. Not surprisingly, several states that already had deeply paternalistic abortion and reproductive health care laws – like the trigger states noted above – are least likely to invest money in infrastructure and public transport.
    • For people with disabilities, who are disproportionately low income or living in poverty and who are less likely to have job stability than their non-disabled counterparts, experience the negative impacts of abortion bans even more acutely.

As Margaret Mitchell, CEO of YWCA USA, noted in a statement released earlier today, “We, and our communities, deserve better. We deserve leaders who trust pregnant persons to know what is right for their own bodies and lives. We deserve to live free from the threat of being criminalized for making decisions about our health, our lives, and our families. Bodily autonomy and the right to have an abortion are fundamental rights, despite what this Court has ruled.”

HOW TO TAKE ACTION

Despite the Supreme Court’s decision to ignore half a century of legal precedent, guidance from the medical community, and, of course, the wisdom of people to know how to govern their own bodies, we can – and must – fight back. These three next steps can help you get started:

  • Tell your senators to support the Women’s Health Protection Act (4132), which would protect abortion access through legislative action.
  • Do what you can to support state abortion funds and other, local abortion and reproductive health funds…
  • VOTE IN NOVEMBER. This fall, thousands of seats — from the U.S. House and Senate to governors and state and local legislators and officials – are up for grabs. Visit our GOTV page — which will continue to be updated — to learn more and to help ensure members of your community are registered to vote.

We will rise together, we will hold space for the losses that are sure to come in our communities together, and — most importantly — we will continue to fight for the nation YWCA envisions; one free of racism and sexism, and one in which women and girls — particularly women and girls of color — can reach their full potential.

For more than fifty years, YWCA USA has supported the reproductive freedom of all people to make fundamental decisions about whether and when to have children. We are striving to create a world in which all women—especially women of color—are free from racism and sexism, and can thrive. We refuse to sit on the sidelines during this historic moment.

MORE THAN 5O YEARS OF YWCA SUPPORT FOR ABORTION RIGHTS